Amar y Servir

Amar y Servir

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Priesthood, an Extension of Christ

Last week our mission president challenged us as a mission to study the priesthood.  To understand the differences in the aaronic and melquisedec (that is written in Spanish, I don't know it in English).  As I was studying, I came across some great things in D&C 107, but when I was assigned to speak on the subject in zone meeting, I was given a document that led me to Alma 13.  Here are some of my notes.


We know from modern revelation that the high priesthood is an extension of Jesus Christ himself, a type of his being and power. To the Prophet Joseph Smith it was revealed that the full and proper name of the priesthood is “ the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” Order is a rich, broad word with several meanings—one of which is “after the fashion or example of: like,similar to. (Elder Holland) 

1. One way Christ is like the Priesthood that bears his name is in his eternal nature. The Priesthood is, we are told, “without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to [God’s] foreknowledge of all things.” (Alma 3:7, D&C 84:17) 

2. Christ,, who was made a High Priest at the hand of his Father, (Hebrews 4:5) was also described as “without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth.” (Alma 13:9) 

3. Through The Book of Mormon, other scripture, doctrine and ordinances we learn how the Savior and his priesthood is extended to all who follow Christ and are ordained to the priesthood. This was spelled out by Alma: (Alma 13: 1-2, 16) 
Study all of chapter 13 of Alma. 

---Personal notes---

Main points:
  1. Original name: "The  Holy  Priesthood,  after  the  Order  of  the  Son  of  God."
  2. Order: - after  the  fashion  or example  of:  like,similar  to.    (Elder  Holland)
  3. The  high  priesthood  is  an  extension  of  Jesus  Christ himself,  a  type  of  his  being  and  power.
My notes on ALMA 13

In what manner were they chosen?
Vs. 3-5
  • 5. "in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren"
  • 3. "Through exceeding faith and good works,... having chosen good."
In what manner were they ordained and for what purpose?
Vs. 8, 16
  • 16. "Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.
    • 2. "that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption."
    • 6. "that they also might enter into his rest"
What is the duration of the calling and the priesthood?
Vs. 3, 5, 7-9
  • 8. "which calling, and ordinance,and high priesthood, is without beginning or end"
In the end, the priesthood is an extension of Christ, "who is without beginning of days or end of years".  Those who receive such priesthood are receiving an extension of Christ.  Those who exercise great faith experience the power in the priesthood.  Which, in my personal opinion, will result in growth in the priesthood, which is the same measurement on how much more an individual becomes more like Christ himself.  

With the thought when it comes to women and being participants in such blessings, it is through the magnifying of their callings.  For it is through that action that they experience the power of the priesthood and the blessings prescribed.  They aren't necessarily holders, but that by no means limit the blessings nor the experiencing of the manifestations of it.

This weekend Elder Quaresma and I had a few opportunities to exercise the power in the priesthood.  We get quite a number of opportunities having the hospital in our area.  We had a missionary fireside, which is another story, and we were finishing up and working our way over to the hospital.  As we got there, we were looking at directions in the hospital and someone came up to us and asked "hey, can you give blessings to non-members?" We said of course and she gave us the info on where the room was and we made our way onto our first visit.  It went well and Elder Quaresma was the voice.  It is evident that as we have had more opportunities to offer blessings, his confidence has developed.  We have been even discussing on how we have been feeling as we get these opportunities.  One thing that Elder Quaresma mentioned "It's hard to describe as we are Jesus Christ as we give the blessing."  Which, it supports the idea because as we give blessings, we are guided by the Spirit.  Who only speaks the words of Christ.  So as a holder of the priesthood, with an extension of Him, and being guided by the Holy Spirit, His representative and messenger, I would safely conclude that we are indeed acting in Christ and as Christ would.  As we continue to seek greater faith and strive to be more obedient, or as a follower as dad pointed out, we are given great power and can minister in a way that we alone could never achieve alone.

Thanks for sending the creepy monkey photos and the fun darling pictures of bruiser.  I have to say that everyone of the cousins are growing up so much and that mom and dad look like they have been getting younger.  How you all manage to get so smokin' and good looking I would say is a great reflection of the light of Christ growing writhin each and everyone of you.  Love you all!

FYI. we'll be climbing mt. Humphries next p-day which is a 9 mile hike and going to the Grand Canyon with one of the bishops the next.  So I might not be able to write much, but know that I appreciate so much to see how wonderful life is at home and how amazing you all have been.

Cottonwood/Flagstaff Zone

Monday, May 23, 2016

Working Effectively Doesn't Mean Filling Your Day with More "To Do's"

Working Effectively Doesn't Mean Filling Your Day with More "To Do's"

Thanks dad for the amazing email on that analogy with the shell and the stages of life.  It was an answer to a prayer and gave me the right focus I need to fill out my mission right.  Mom, thanks for helping with college things.  That is an answer to prayers as well and I feel much more settled.  This will make it easier to stay focused and not preoccupied with college things while proselyting.  You both are stalwarts in my life.  I am glad I have you both.

So as mom has done so well to always praise me for my efforts, I have found my fire for writing poems be reignited, dad's poem was a great read.  So here is one I am currently working on.  When I get home I want to see different poem structures and find new ways to write.

The Divine Dove

A voice soft and delicate,
Heard clearly though inaudible.
Where nothing will replicate,
Which the world finds insensible.

The message is distinguished,
Be sure to give ear.
Wherein is the pain relinquished
a message soft and clear.

The voice is not its own,
But that of the master.
Such understanding has grown
When heed is given faster.

Behold the Holy Spirit,
Feel his presence grow.
Notice your soul be lit
As you see the revelation flow.

Your soul He will sanctify,
Of a once considered loss.
As to gold does fire purify
He removes all the dross.

No man is out of His reach
We only need to change.
Let him our hearts breach
And with our life, rearrange.

Of His power and majesty
No words can describe.
Nor the happiness so readily
To all does He provide.

To this member of the godhead 
This tribute has been borne
From one whom He readily lead
To show a Savior is borne.

I give thanks to him
For all that he has done
To fill a heart once dim
The light of God's Son.

This poem will be a favorite of mine, because my testimony will be borne within.  So I'll get to explaining the title.

So this past week was one of true sacrifice.  Throughout the whole week, we were fighting a lack of motivation and great frustration.  This has been an interesting cycle on my mission because I have noticed a pattern.  When I first get into an area, the first third of the experience has required work.  Diligent and dedicated work.  Nothing resulted to a great degree, with the exception of my first area with Elder Taylor.

As I have been in this area, there was the usual 2-3 weeks getting adjusted and familiarizing myself with the Ward and investigators.  We spent time dropping a lot of investigators that weren't progressing and revising our planning process.  By week four we were running a high average in key indicators, with the exception of sacrament meeting attendance.  We were getting by week five an average of about 3-4 people on date (which is nearly double of standards of excellence, a mission-wide standard).  However, right when it seemed like we were on track to having some baptisms in the beginning of June and a good number on date for the latter part, we have found ourself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This progressed through the week and we took turns taking the heat.  I would have a hard night and wasn't capable of doing anything but just taking a relaxing exercise from Adjusting to Missionary life and going to sleep.  Or Elder Quaresma taking a really hard hit Sunday night to today.  He was so stressed and wasn't giving himself a chance to rest and relax (because he didn't feel that he had done enough or was good enough at something) that most of Monday he was vomiting and full of diarrhea.  He tried going out for a few hours, which resulted in an amazing lesson with a 70 yr old man who has been married to an active Mormon wife for nearly 50 years, nearly crying and full of the Spirit.  He even said it himself "I guess that might be some sort of sign huh?". Following another puking session and diarrhea, he tried to go for another hour, despite my efforts to persuade him to rest.  He lasted only 45min and had to go back.  The rest of the night was really hard for him.  

When it came time to sleep, me and Elder Bunn were talking and he came out of the bedroom in tears asking for us to stop talking.  He couldn't sleep and his whole body was hurting.  He couldn't understand what was happening and mentioned that nothing like this has ever happened before.  

He asked me to pray for him.  

And so I did.

I can say it was one of the best prayers I have ever offered on my mission.  Words came out of my mouth that I haven't used scarcely before.  Faith was in every statement, and the honest communication felt like the most open prayer that I have offered with God.  It was as if He was there with us and we were in conversation explaining the situation and asking for his aid.  Before the prayer was concluded, he was calm, relaxed and soon after was able to fall asleep.

The power of prayer is more than asking or giving thanks.  It is enabling power that allows us to connect with our Father in Heaven, a power which opens the channels between this probationary state to a light that can illuminate any darkened or troubled soul.  As we continue to learn how to open the flood gates, which we readily hold back, we can find a greater sense of purpose in this life and an ever more personal connection with our Father.

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, May 16, 2016

It's raining. It's pouring. New investigators are soaring.

So this week we worked exceptionally well this week.  It was partly due to us working harder, e.g. Talking to more people, setting up for members to come with us, knocking on neighbors doors to hear if they were interested in learning about the gospel, etc.  However, I would attribute most of our success this week to the hand of the Lord.  We've been working hard lately and dropping a lot of our investigators and doing our best to carry out our carefully planned out days.  We were starting to see some success and have found that many of the investigators that we found were quite interested in the message we had to share.  Some we were able to set on date, and others who are willing to learn more.  It hasn't come without a price though, this weekend was really trying for us in that we had someone on the phone calling us all sorts of bad things, just because I misdialed the number, and being so drained emotionally, mentally, physically, and to a degree spiritually as well.  We were worn out big time by the time Sunday came around.  It was a wonderful week regardless.

I have noticed that in my mission it comes down to just a few simple things.  The qualifications are as such:
  • A desire to serve with a willing mind
  • Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ
  • Diligence and patience
  • And above all, Charity
There are countless others such as humility, but when it comes down to it.  If we can truly dedicate ourselves to serve others and invite them to come unto Christ, there will be great happiness in the field and success, according to the will and circumstances of the Lord.

There was a great scripture shared in sacrament meeting when they were reorganizing the new bishopric in the Switzer Canyon Ward D&C 64:32 "But all things must come to pass in their time.

33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days."

So let us trust in the Lord's will and truly seek it out in our lives.  Life is short, so let's not take a long time trying to figure out what He has provided for us and requires of us.  And I share these things, thanks to the wonderful revelation I have received as I have shared this, in His name, even Jesus Christ.  Amen.

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

I don't think I have ever been in the hospital or have given nearly as many blessings as I have in the past 5 weeks that I have been here in Flagstaff.  (Well the hospital is in our area... And a lot of members ask for us... And many of them are Native American from the reservations...)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Follow-up

This week was good.  We started tracting a little and we actually are finding some people that have some potential and getting new people off to the side.  Got a little sick from being in the cold, but a 2.5 hrs power nap should help a little.

I really enjoyed seeing the Fam.  It's fun to see the girls growing up so fast and mom and dad not aging a day.  I was bummed out not being able to talk to Zachy.  I want you to know Zach that you inspire me in the things you share in your emails.  Keep it up!  Your dedicated service to the Lord is being reflected in your countenance.  You are my best bud and I hope you know that.

It was super fun to hear about the missionary moments that you all have been having lately.  As it says in PMG "no effort goes to waste". You are all examples of that.  It truly has been the greatest gift for me to see all of you developing your testimonies and sharing them with others.

In my interview with President Griffin I was told that he was more than content with all of the effort I have put into my mission.  It was nice to have that confirmation when I wasn't sure if I have done enough.  After this weekend, and your email dad, I know that I am doing everything that has been required of me.  I hope that this cold doesn't last too long or get too serious.

Love you all so much!

Photo shoot with Elder Bunn ;)

"Favela bro"

Photo shoot with our ride

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, May 2, 2016

Colleg, Bruiser, Dejavu Experience

It is so good to hear from all of you.  It is hard to hear that Bruiser might not make it for much longer, I am really going to miss that happy playful atmosphere in my life.  It reminds me of when Bentley passed.  I remember crying when I first found out.  I remember when I was younger praying that he would a least last until I was gone on my mission.  Just how I had prayed that Ryan Brooks not to move for the same reason.  Not to longer after Bentley was put down, I remember just having s tough day.  I was in need of comfort.  During that time I prayed for some peace and I specifically remember seeing Bently, happy and healthy, come right up next to me.  I got to spend a few minutes with him and it really helped me through that moment.  I have seen him a few other occasions on my mission, especially when I needed a friend.  May I recommend, Zach. That whatever my become of Bruiser and you may need some comfort, I bet your "friends" would love more than anything to take some time to be with you.  I love you all so much, to quote dad "that it hurts."  I look forward to the day that I can hug you all again and spend some good quality family time together.  I love you all, have a great week. 

This is an experience that I had last night.
Contacting the guy in the wheelchair on the street. Reminds me from earlier in my mission when I passed by a mother and her precious son in the wheelchair on my bike.  As we approached them, I felt such a overwhelming love for the little boy and wanted to do something to make him happy.  But as I had that feeling, I also experienced some apprehension in not knowing what I would do. So I had passed them by, but less than 30 seconds later I turned around and had my companion to come back with me to go looking for the little boy and his mom.  They were nowhere to be found.  I was perplexed because there was no way that they could've gone very far.  So we biked for a while trying to guess where they might've been, but it was too late. This experienced has been with me for a long time.  I promised that I would do better in following promptings, such as this, and reach out where I can in love.

Last night was a similar experience.  This time it was a grown man.  He was in a wheelchair and it was late at night, just like unto the first experience that I had.  As we were driving by I only caught a glimse of his figure and him working to move down the street.  In that moment I experienced that same impression.  Yet again, I continued driving down the street.  The interesting thing was that it left the same hole that did the previous experience.  I knew that I couldn't pass by this opportunity.  So I turned around, despite not knowing what I was going to do, and went back to go find this man.  When we had returned back down the street, we found him still on the corner where we had left him.  We got out of the car and went to go talk to him and see if there was anything that we could do for him.  He was a little drunk and wasn't necessarily very interested in anything other than a few dollars.  I explained that we couldn't offer much but we could offer a prayer.  His reaction caught me a little off guard.  He went off for a little about how his life had been hard to him and that he couldn't count on anyone.  He, alike many Navaho people here, was baptized young, but eventually fell away.  The reason why he was in a wheelchair was because he got shot in the leg.  I made the effort to share how God was still there and that Jesus Christ suffered for us so that he can help us, but it wasn't to much use.  I look back and realize that I could've approached the situation better on many different levels, including showing more love, concern, and sympathy for the situation.  However, the man had clearly been through a lot and was trying to get away from his problems from his drinking and the setting was difficult to convey something that might be of use to him.  After a few minutes, I realized that we couldn't do much for him so we wished him the best.  As we were leaving, the youth that was with us, Luis Velasco, who is a convert of about four years and is preparing to go on a mission next year, said something that caught my attention.  

After discussing with this man for about 5 minutes, we were leaving our best wishes and were making our way back to the car.  When we shook hands and began to walk back, Luis said to this man "hey we love you man".  When he said that, the man gave his thanks and said that's was what he needed.  What I learned that night is that sometimes, what people really need is not always to hear about Jesus Christ through words, but more of feel more of Jesus Christ in their lives.  I know when we can communicate more through the Spirit and impart of our love to others, that's where we can mend wounds and heal hearts, and one day, help someone back onto the path.

My new district in Flagstaff.

Abril, Aaron, and Mauricio.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

This week was a testimony builder for me.  To many factors, one of the greatest being Elder Quaresma.  So this week we had so many lessons
scheduled and we were excited, however, as the week progressed, we
find that nearly all of our lessons were being canceled.  We just
didn't understand why.  I knew that it was the will of God and that we
should accept what he desires, but what Elder Quaresma did changed my
whole perspective entirely on what it means to respect the will of
God.  Even though we were running into cancelation after cancelation,
this missionary never gave up.  He continued to call and set up
appointments, get members set for every lesson.  He would pray
earnestly that we could reach our goals for the week and find those
that would help us achieve them.  He worked harder and prayed more
earnestly as things seemed more dreer.  Even when it seemed like we
had done everything we could, he would always go one step further.
One prayer more, one more phone call, one more invitation to hear a
message of Jesus Christ.

As Saturday came, we were short on multiple levels to accomplish what
we set out to do.  However, we had many lessons that were set.  We had
more than just lessons.  We had miracles.  Saturday we had all the
lessons needed and at church we hit our goal to investigators at
church. The prayers were all answered in full!!

Throughout the whole night Saturday we had Michael Vasquez with us.
This man has gone through so much and is fighting to get through
personal trials.  At the end of the night to take him home, he
mentioned that in our last visit, which was completely in Spanish, he
felt a special Spirit so strong. "That one, for some reason, really
hit me."  What took me buy surprise, was when Elder Quaresma asked if
we could share a quick 5 minute lesson with him as well.  Michael
accepted and we shared a video of President Uctdorf on the story of
the Ugly Duckling in helping us to discover "our true identity."  The
Spirit was so sweet in that setting and at the end he offered the
closing prayer.  In his prayer, he mentioned of his struggles and his
sincere desires.  This reminded me of a trial that I had in my youth.
I remembered the one thing, out of everything I did, that helped me
overcome this trial.  It was reading in the Book of Mormon daily.  So,
with this, I invited Michael to do the very same thing.  To read in
the Book of Mormon every day, and if he did so, assuring that he did
not miss a day, he would have the strength to overcome the temptations
he has been experiencing.  Even if he may falter, not to give up
either, each time we fall down we can and will have the power to stand

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

24 de Abril de 2016, Baptism of Susana Lyman Meza!!

- Luis velasco and sister Freer made it possible so that we could go
down to the baptism. Such a wonderful experience before and after
getting to know them. Truly remarkable people.  While I was on the
ride back, I got talking with sister freer on my father, Ryan Benson,
my hero.  The more I explained who my father was and is, I had a deep
sense of gratitude and humility to recollect what my father had gone
through to provide for me and my life.  He, along with my angel
mother, sacrificed so much so that I could have more than comfortable
life and bright future.  I will be forever grateful for what he has
done for me.  I look up to that man as my greatest hero, as far as
imperfect human beings go that is. :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Saw Snow, I have a Brazilian Companion, Too much English

Let's start with a great quote from Elder Holland:

In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.  Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”6The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.

When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to have faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!  Don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.

Leaving Estrella.

Leaving is always hard for me.  Partly because I subconsciously try to hide or dismiss how I feel, in order to avoid the tears and hard goodbyes.  I was visiting a few people and was able to say the best goodbyes that I could, but the last was tough.  It was saying goodbye to our recent converts that were baptized just last Sunday.  Abril, the oldest at 14yrs, was super close to crying while I was there.  It was hard to say bye to Aaron, Mauricio and Abril.  But I know that we'll all be friends for a long time.  There were so many people here that changed my life for the better and I will have a special place in my heart.  I know that it was a tremendous blessing to be able to serve amongst such a good hearted people.

My area in Flagstaff.

So coming into Flagstaff was amazing to say in the least.  I share that quote that mom gave me because it ties into how my experience was coming into the area.  The second day here we were asked to go to the local hospital to give a blessing.  We drove over before dinner and gave a blessing to a sister that was surrounded by her loving family.  All their feelings were visible in their faces.  We went and gave her a blessing of health.  The Spirit was sweet and assuring.  After the blessing was pronounced in the name of Christ, I turned to see some crying.  I realize now, looking back, that the blessing did more than heal her body and spirit.  It healed her family's spirits as well.  I am grateful to be able to relate to you all the wonderful things that occur on my mission, because some come as I am able to share with you what the Lord has given to me.

The trees and night of snow has been fun, and I have had to adjust to cooler temperatures.  But I've been enjoying it a lot.  It almost feels like I am on vacation!  Well... We do live right behind the theatre that we watched Captain America in.  Super cool right!?

A little about my companion.

He is the trainee of my trainee, in missionary slang terms: grandson. Yes it is crazy to think about it.  My companion is from Brasilia Brasil, the Capitol.  He can speak all three!! He is one of my best and favorite companions for sure!!  He has the most amazing of balance fun, hardwork, and spirituality.  He is someone that radiates the light of Christ, when putting him against a background of missionaries, that is saying something.  I feel so blessed to be serving with this dedicated elder for the last 12 weeks of my mission.

He is Humble, Meek, Christlike in so many ways, and works hard. One of the best I have been with in my entire mission. He inspires me to be better whenever I am around him.  I also learned that he really likes cats. He calls them "cuchito" and meows every time he sees one.  Haha he is such a ball!  I am going to enjoy being with this amazing Elder.

He has taken control of the area well. We have already met with the bishops in the two wards (English areas... Wow this is super different. Same church and everything... But wow are things different). We've got good relationships with the wards. Coordinations run well with both willing to help, especially Peak View.  We cover the Switzer Canyon Ward, Peak View Ward, and a Spanish group here. 

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Transfer week, I'm going to Flagstaff

So I found out I am going to Flagstaff for my last two transfers of my mission.  This will be bitter sweet for me.  We had a wonderful end of a transfer here in Estrella West area.  We had the APM approach set up with the WML and Elders quorum and just had to set a day with a willing young men's aux.  the Ward is popping with success and I'll miss this Ward.  We were taking a recent convert to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and have many investigators that are going to be confirmed and baptized in these next three to four weeks.  

The highlights were many, especially seeing Abril, Mauricio and Aaron Salazar get baptized before I left.  I told Elder Studyvin about a month ago, "if I can see those three get baptized before I leave, my mission would be made."  God respected that desire and many miracles occurred to make that happen.  Even though I won't be able to see them be confirmed or go to do baptisms for the dead with our recent convert Mariana Banuelos this Saturday, I feel like I did everything I could do to help further the Lord's work here.  I will have many life long friends here and will forever have in my heart the West Maricopa Zone and the amazing people, members and missionaries, that I have gotten to know.

I am super excited to venture out of the valley and see what flagstaff has and what we can get moving there.  Have a great week!

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, April 4, 2016

General Conference weekend, my last.

This week is pretty awesome and I've enjoyed the roller coaster ride of the week this has been. We have been really busy with one of most productive weeks that I've had in almost a year.  We can working really hard with the five people we have on date.  Next Sunday will be able to see Abril, Mauricio, and Aaron (who are Rosario's kids) enter into the waters of baptism and the following week receive the Holy Ghost.  I am super excited!

This general conference had a lot of good things that had a lot of good take aways.  There were many that worked together that helped me and gave good guidance for what I am experiencing.  The main things that stuck out to me was that we are children of our Heavenly Father, Humility in our trials, Temples are important places to be, the Atonement can reconstruct our lives, and the importance to focus on families.

(I just got out in a game called werewolf.  It's basically Mafia, and I got killed the first night in both games... I am not very pleased with that...)

So out of all of the talks Elder Hallstrom and Elder Uctdorf on the topic of repentance really stuck out to me. Yet here some of our most favorite quotes and takeaways.

President Eyring
We need to pray for others, while they are teaching us, praying, or in any other righteous endeavor.  As we do this the Spirit can be magnified.  One thing that we are invited to do as missionaries is pray for our companion as they teach.

Elder Hallstrom
To know that we are children of our Heavenly Father "is essential to Salvation"

Elder Uctdorf
"The sheep is worthy to be rescued simply because he is loved."
"The steps of faith are called obedience"
"There is nothing good unless we do it"

What I have learned from this general conference, virtual family fireside, and other scriptures (D&C 121:7-8; Mosiah 14:10) is that there will be trials in our lives that we cannot control.  The things we will face in this life is not within our power.  There is a reason why we are always and forever will be "unprofitable servants".  It is because the Lord allows us to be tried and tested.  So that we can become more powerful, humble, and meek servants of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  The answer doesn't always come as we may hope it will.  With variables such as time, method of deliverance, and to what extent the aid is given, we will always we tried and tested (D&C 24:8) "21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. 22 Nevertheless--whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day." (Mosiah 23:21-22) 

I know that the patience of Job is not accomplished through a comfortable life.  However, I know that the Lord will be with us every step of the way.  If we do our best to endure patiently in faith (which is being active rather than passive), we will find peace in this life that surpasseth all understanding.  The Lord said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, March 28, 2016

Faith in Finding

This whole week I would think that it is safe to say that is nothing short of a miracle.  We have been working as a zone to find and Elder Studyvin and I have been working on some other things to hasten the work in our areas as well.  Such as asking for referrals from everyone and inviting everyone that is present to come and participate.

We actually have found two of the people we have put on date that way.

The story that I want to share is from what is currently going on is with one of the families we have on date.  Back in January their mom, Rosario, was baptized and we have been working on her kids.  Her husband hasn't been too fond of the church and everything, I would attribute it to him not sitting in and participating in the lessons, so we have only seen him a handful of times. We have been working closely with the kids and doing everything we can with the Ward to fellowship them and help them have a good time.  Things have been going fairly well, which is most evident in the oldest daughter.  Her name is Abril (which is April in Spanish).  She has been a slow work in progress, yet one of the most fun to see.  In the past month or two she has been doing a lot.  She has been teaching some of her friends and cousins (she taught one of her friends how to pray right in front of us, and her mom told us of another time just recently of her taking one of the pamphlets and teaching her cousins).  Now, as things have progressed, she has told us that she "really!! Really!! Wants to get baptized". We are going to work with them as much as we can and we hope that their dad will be able to open enough to sign over permission for them to be baptized.  We will see how everything works out.  I know it will work out.  Just in a matter of time.

The West Maricopa zone, our zone, met our goal to find 55 new investigators for the month of March!  Even though there was some area book errors that gave us a few extra, we still met our goal and reached 57 legitimate investigators.  This new focus, on developing a greater faith to find and simply being out and about to find more people to teach, has led us to know having 18 people on date.  Of which around 15 of those have a high likelihood of being baptized in this upcoming month of April.  As with the rest of the mission, we are getting really excited.  Throughout this past month I saw at least every three days a "Ya Tu Sabes" (Basically a celebration for success.  E.g. Finding a new investigator or someone getting put on date.) and there were many days we'd get 3-4 in one night.

One of the small things that made a big change, that I would attribute our success to, would be the unison in the zone.  We all got on board with the zone goal and we even had a challenged issued in both districts to pray for one another.  This invitation was issued after the second week, which is a week where we fell behind.  The next two weeks, we made up for the lost ground and came back strong.  The power of prayer issued in unity for the success of the zone, yielded an amazing result.  I am excited to take this excitement to have lunch with president Griffin, then take that energy and set an even higher goal for April.  Including with more baptisms this month.

Elder Studyvin and I are finding continual success with the 6 investigators we have on date.  We will probably drop one, but we are still finding more.  One thing that I found that really helped is follow a simple process.
  1. Contact the individual and offer to share a short message for about 10min.
  2. Once inside, invite all to participate.
  3. Get to know them for 2min, complimenting them on a few things they have.
  4. Open with a prayer and share the video, inviting them to focus on how they feel and ponder the blessings they have received thanks to Christ.
  5. Ask them what they felt and what their thoughts were.
  6. Testify of Christ
  7. Ask to come by for 20min to share the message of Christ's restored gospel, which will build upon the beliefs that they hold dear of Christ.
  8. Leave them the Restoration pamphlet to prepare for the next lesson.
  9. Leave with a prayer.
This whole process, as we have improved and had a few go's at it, we have kept these visits to nearly the 10min mark we set.  Not one has exceeded 15min.  When we have returned and taught the restoration, we always invite them to baptism with a date.  This has resulted in so many on date.  All but one of these 6 are progressing really well.

I am super excited.  I love serving the Lord in missionary work.  There have been a few times where I have been doubtful or have been scared, but pushing through we have found much success.

1-4) Breakfast at Lazaro's (The burrito was the size of 3-4 of my fists.  Soo good!). We went with Ruben to celebrate his B-day, which was like 2 weeks ago. 

Elder Studyvin got sick

We handed out Mesa pageant cards for about 2 months (From Jan 25th to March 21st). We handed out a lot as an apartment. (My companionship won though, gotta love seeing the whole Ward there on Wednesday night for mutual ;)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Great Week of Wonders

This week was one of the best weeks I have had on my mission so far.  As a focus for the month of March, our zone has been shooting for a higher goal in finding more New Investigators.  It has been really fun to see the zone get excited and work hard.  This goal we have is for 55 NI and on average we have been getting around 33 NI for the past few months.  Right now we are already to about 40 and we are in week 3!  One more week to go.

What I have been able to see has been something absolutely humbling and inspiring to me.  As we have been working together as a zone to reach this goal, our focus has been more unified as a whole.  One illustration of the unification of the zone we had both district meetings and after attending one, I was able to go on exchanges with the district leader of the other district.  After talking with him, I learned that in both meetings they had a discussion focused on praying for one other so that we may have success.  I had a spiritual confirmation to me of the power of prayer that Saturday night as as well as this morning when I saw that we were so well on track to reaching our goal.  For as it says in Doctrine and Covenants 38:27 "Behold, ... I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine."  The more unified our zone has been, the greater success and motivation has been present in hastening the work.  One thing we do is that when someone has an amazing lesson, or when they find a new investigator, they send a text to the Zone Leaders.  Who then send it out to the zone.  In these previous weeks, we have had these "Ya Tu Sabes" (Means now you know!  That was a zone inside joke, and since we are the zone with the most Spanish missionaries, we had to go Spanish.) almost every other day!  I'll fill you in if we were able to reach our goal next week.

Another fun thing that happened this week with of the lessons that we had.  With Luz Mejia, a single mother of 6.

We've been visiting with Luz for the past 3 months about. (Wow time really flies by). About two week ago we invited her to be baptized on the 27th of March and she accepted.  The Spirit was in abundance and it was a sincere yes.  However, after her not showing up for church the next Sunday, I was wondering what was going on.  The reason being is because she doesn't really work that day and she lives 2 blocks away from the church building.  We tried throughout the whole week to have contact, and had no success.  Sometimes the kids would answer and say she was doing things like "She was in the shower" or "she is washing clothes" and for me, some of those things are so generic, it is hard sometimes to believe the credibility of those statements.  So we continued and found her last week Sunday morning, inviting her again, with a yes saying that she was going.  And again she didn't go.

So by this point we were coming to the conclusion that we were probably going to move on and give her more of a make or break lesson.  Until she continues to show commitment and progression, in other words, is repenting and growing in her conversion, we would need to move on and would return when she was ready.  So we had contact again with her Saturday.  She answered the door and we caught up a bit and she was still very open and friendly with us.  (Note: I was with an English Elder on exchanges, so unless I kept him in the loop, I was doing most of the talking.). 

So we eventually started the lesson and followed up with praying and reading in the Book of Mormon.  She said she hadn't read the Book of Mormon in a while, but said she enjoyed reading it.  When we mentioned baptism, she expressed the doubt that she felt that because her baptism was enough because it was between her and God, not necessarily for a church.  She also reminded us that she had prayed on multiple occasions and every time she said a prayer, asking if the Church was true, she would have a nightmare that night.  As we continued to talk about baptism I asked her if she could go inside to get her Book of Mormon, so that we could share a scripture with her.  It was to talk about baptism and then I was going to transition it into the necessity to be baptized with someone that had the priesthood.  I still was going to focus on the positives of everything she did in her baptism, but also convey the necessity of it being done with the proper authority to be considered valid in the eyes of God.  Along with that, we are the only church that can promise that, through the same authority, she could have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  

While she went in for her Book.  I related what happened to Elder Osai he mentioned  Joseph smith story in repose to her nightmares.  So we read that with her.  All meanwhile Elder Osai, my companion for the day, was praying so that she could understand. I bore testimony that it was true and that she could come to know the truth for herself.  Following that I translated Elder Osai's testimony for her.  I could see that was special and I could feel the sincerity through the Spirit.  I promised her that if she prayed sincerely tonight to know it was true, and she didn't have another nightmare she could know for herself that that was an answer to her to know that this was true.  She said she would pray again, and we left setting a visit for the next Wednesday.

We stopped by in the morning and she said she prayed!  She told us that she didn't have a nightmare and that she was getting ready to go to church.  The sad and confusing part of it all, was the fact that she didn't go.  I pray that we know what the Lord would have us do, and I hope that we can help her to continue on with what she has been able to learn.

Talking afterwards, me and Elder Osai, about understanding the sons of Mosiah, we could comprehend better Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.". I could understand better the need of having charity and a love towards all men.  I know better now, being out these 20 months, and doing everything I can to contribute to the work, what it must've tasted like to be one of the sons of Mosiah.  Truly it is a special feeling to have a similar love to all those around us.  I wish that I will be able to develop that love for the rest of my life.

This puts into perspective of what life truly is, a fight between good and evil over the souls of men that they might be saved. Our very brothers and sisters in the spirit.  I know that this work is true, it is the greatest work we can ever be apart of.  I know as that we continue to further develop our relationship with our Savior, there is nothing holding us back from seeing our beloved ones as they truly are, as our brothers and sisters.  I feel my love for these people and the Savior grow each day.  I am so grateful for this privilege to serve and to be a servant of the Lord.
  1. Just having some good kneaders all you can eat French toast.

2. Ribs almost as good and my old man's (Dosm, you still have my vote)

3. Hna Navas and Elder Studyvin

4. I did some interpreting for a member of the Stake presidency in sacrament meeting yesterday.  It is fun!

5. Elder Osai and I.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I Feel My Savior's Love and My Love for Him

I feel like this week has been very good to us.  The Lord's hand has been in the work.  There is no doubt about that.  I have been with Elder Studyvin who has helped be be happier and we continue to work hard.  The "little things" are getting done to a better T and I am seeing mini-miracles through the process.  I feel that my motivation to do the work has developed from a obligation to more of a desire.  The study of the scriptures and more sincere prayer, focused on the Savior, has made the difference.

We had Elder Arnold come visit our mission for our mission tour.  It was a great visit with a lot of tips and pieces of advice on how to improve on missionary work.  The biggest takeaway I got out of it was to work more closely with the members, especially through our leaders, and invite everyone to hear the message about the restored gospel.  This includes inviting everyone present in the home to hear as well, while asking for referrals.  I can say that that was a great piece of advice. (I will explain later in the email).  One thing that was pretty special was that during lunch he took all of the STL's and Zone Leaders into to do quick interviews.  We went in as companions and then individually.  It was funny because he asked if I had a girlfriend.  I gave a nice little smile and said I didn't.  I think he was looking to catch me on something, but I passed. :)  He also said in the interview that he wanted me to tell you two, mom and dad, that he commended your efforts to raise a great son.  (I cannot tell you how many times I have hear that on my mission.  You definitely done a great job ;)  

The work here truly has grown and Elder Studyvin and I have been working well.  We have been getting a lot of different Ward lists put together such as Future elders, Part member families, un baptized children 9+yrs, and Less Actives (we have been working with the Hermanas and the list has gotten into the hundreds.  It's amazing how many people are just within our reach and right in our very midst.  This is what we can call as the low hanging fruit.). We have been taking some time to go through some of these lists, especially the less active list, and we are already starting to find people that no longer live there or are not even interested.  Through this process we even found a couple moving to Chile on the first of April.  This is going to help the leaders a lot find out who actually live in the Ward and who they can help.

Speaking of working with members and part member families.  We actually had a great lesson last night.  This was right after we had finished the missionary devotional and we were hurrying over to a lesson we had set with our recent convert, Mariana Banuelos.   On the 20min drive over there (I took an exit late and took an extra 5min). I was thinking if it was worth the drive this late at night to go and give the lesson.  Other doubts were floating in the back of my mind, but I knew that there is always something good that can come out of even the small things.  So we went over and caught up with them to see how they were doing and asked if we could open with a prayer.  In the prayer the prompting came into my mind that we should ask if anyone of her kids were there and if they would like to hear just a quick message about Christ.  She was a little hesitant about inviting her oldest son in, but she did it anyways.

So we hooked up my iPad to the TV (thanks mom for the adapter) and showed them the most recent church initiative #Alelujah.  (Btw if you haven't seen it yet, go on gospel library and check it out!  The 300+ person and 1000+ virtual choir is amazing!).  When we finished we asked everyone what were some of the feelings that went through their mind as they watched the video.  The first person to comment was the oldest son, Roberto.  He pointed out how every one of them looked like they had so much peace.  We testified to him that he could have that peace as well in his life and asked if we could come by the next day to share that with them.  He accepted!  So we will be visiting with him tonight and see if we can set a date with him tonight.

We also have Rosario kids on date for April 10th, everyone except the oldest daughter who is 14 years old.  She knows it is true, just has a doubt that she doesn't feel comfortable yet.  She said she'll tell us, but it has to be in private.  She is a great girl and is doing almost everything that a Mormon would (she even says that she is a Mormon and defends us against her friends who make fun of us) she just has something looming over her that is preventing her from making this decision.  If I finish here, I am hoping and praying that I will see her baptism before I leave.  I want to see that whole family in white more than anything.

Btw I am super impressed with another on of your little excursions that you decided to make mom and dad!  It seems like that as you both work to with your heart, might, mind, and strength,  you at times get a nice little treat to relax and enjoy the wonderful world that our Father has created for us.  Rest well and have fun!!

1.) We had some member give us some food.  So we enjoyed it in the church.

2.) We are teaching English class currently

3.) So that house that we moved all of the rock onto the yard?  Yep totally was voted the best property of the month! Woot Woot!

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Monday, March 7, 2016

PME Capitulo 11 Promise Blessings and Bear Testimony Frequently

This week was by far one of my favorite that I have had.  The reason being what my focus has been on for the past couple weeks along with what was presented in our mission's most recent Mission Leadership Conference, MLC.  

For me personally I have been looking for a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  I have found that building a personal testimony of the Savior is vital to experiencing true joy.  I have had many experiences where the only thing that has consoled my troubled being.  This past week I had a day where I was overwhelmed and was making rash observations of myself.  Elder Studyvin heard me out, which helped, but we had a lesson not to soon after.  So what happened was that we decided to go to the lesson.  

The plan that we had was to share a previous Easter MormΓ³n message that the church had put out along with sharing the scripture Alma 7:11-13, one of my favorite scriptures on the Atonement.  As we shared the message, I felt an abundance of the Spirit.  It was something so special to me that I can't really put into words.  I found that as I was able to take some of the things that I have learned and apply them to our teaching.  The part that has helped me a lot has been having a focus in mind from the very beginning of the lesson.  Before my focus was more on teaching them the principles and at the end leave them a commitment that we had planned.  However, I found that the commitments weren't very powerful and depended a great deal on the Spirit that was there in the lesson.  As I have now changed the focus to teaching with the commitment in mind.  In a way teaching and testifying and building up to the commitment, not only have the commitments been more clear and easy to understand, but the Spirit was in greater abundance as we were teaching.

In a recent lesson with a single mother, Luz, who we have been teaching for a while, we had a very powerful lesson where the Spirit was strong.

So we went in, and there was a noticeable difference in her character and in her home.  She still claimed that her children were trying her patience and such.  So partway into the lesson, I shared with her the changes that I had observed, and I gave the credit to what she had been doing.  That is, reading the Book of Mormon almost daily and praying often.  She has asked to know if the church was true and has received nightmares, but she has continued to show confidence in us. (Which I considered was a good sign.). So as we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Spirit began to fill the room.  So evident was it for me, that I felt my soul enveloped in peace and absolute assurance that what was being shared was true, and that God was testifying of the truth of what we taught.  I could say the phrase "the Spirit was so thick in the room, you could cut it with a butterknife" and realize that I have never felt and recognized the Spirit to be so vivid and true for me as it has been at this time.

During in the lesson there was something different that I was trying to apply.  In MLC we had gone over chapter eleven of PMG and my big takeaway were three simple things.  Teach with the commitment as the focus, promise blessings that are applicable and personal, and bear simple and sincere testimony of the power and blessings of living that principle.  Teaching Luz, the focus was majorly on the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it will bless her and her family.  Another thing that we had prepared was that Mahonry and Hna Callejas could share personal testimony of the blessings that the gift of the Holy Ghost has provided in their lives, being a youth and a mother.  This applied well to Luz because she had 6 kids and is a single mother.  The Spirit was powerful, nearly palpable in the sense.  So full of the sensation was I of this great manifestation of love that the invitation to be baptized was a natural extension to provide her the opportunity to be a recipient of this great gift.  It was clear that she was desirous of receiving such a blessing that when we extended the invitation, March 27th, it was an immediate and unrestrained yes.

I like a scripture that I had read just the other day,
Mosiah 7:12 And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;

13 For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would not have suffered that I should have worn these bands. For I am Ammon, and am a descendant of Zarahemla, and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff brought up out of that land.

In my mission I have found that as I share kindness and sincere love for them, and testify with truthfulness and boldness, the Spirit has testified to me and those I teach with great power, even unto some to accept invitations to commitments to repent and grow closer to the Savior.  I can't say that everyone has kept those commitments, but I know that they have come to feel of the testifying power of the Holy Ghost.  They have experienced a stirring in their hearts and that is what I have set out to do.  I will not be satisfied with only them enjoying our company for 45min and shortly after return to the weekly routine.  But I will not be dismayed when they freely use their agency and not follow through with what we invite them to do.

I know that as we do our very best to sincerely grow closer to the Lord and ask forgiveness for our shortcomings and press on, the Savior will be with us every step of the way.

Thanks for sharing with me the family update.  I am so glad to see my family living the gospel and striving to do what is right. It inspires me to be better and grow closer to my Savior every week.

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Some yummy tostadas we had yesterday.

I dry erased marker drew our mission president, what do you think?

Zone meeting was interrupted by the fire alarms going off and us having to call the fire department to help us figure out how to turn them off.  So we snuck a photo or two.

Monday, February 29, 2016

So I've got a New CompaΓ±ero, Dimos un Discurso el Domingo, Prefiero EspaΓ±ol

So I've got a new companion named Elder Studyvin. He is quite the goof but it makes it fun and exciting. It was quite funny how we got into speaking Spanish most of the time as well.  One thing that is important to know is that there are a good amount of companionships that typically start out mostly Spanish for about a week. Following which is regresses to a mix and English eventually speaks more.  However, when Elder Studyvin said "hola!" a switch flipped in my head and I started speaking to him in Spanish.  

Last night with one of the youth was the first time we had a conversation in English since Wednesday. I'm liking all this Spanish.

So someone we've been working with is named Luz.  She is a super cool mom of 6 kids, which is quite a handful.  We went by to visit her to see how she was doing Saturday night, because we've been trying to keep in contact with her.  When we were talking to her at the front door, there were some kids playing on the side yard.  She told them to not kick the ball around, and it seemed like she had been worn out that day from a lot of work and trying to be patient with them.  As we turned back to invite her to church, we heard a ball kicked then a crash and some shattering. 

It was like we were in a movie.

As soon as that happened, she put a big smile on her face, but was evident she wasn't happy. We knew what she meant and she said to pray for her so that she doesn't "kill her kids" because that was the 6th window broken that month.  Just as she told us this one of her little boys said that not one, but two windows were broken.  Yep it made sense why she was still asleep when we passed by in the morning before church to invite her.  The son told us that she had a bad headache and was really worn out.  So we left an invitation to a baptism the Hermana's in the Ward were having. 

It was a great baptism. Turns out that one of our investigators that has been really hesitant to accept a baptismal date, despite many missionaries passing by for 2-years and his wife wanting to get married and baptized since day one.  While he didn't go to church, after the baptism he didn't want to leave because he loved the Spirit that he felt there.  Hopefully that can help him realize what is waiting for him.

The work continues to progress. I'm working to have a greater focus on 
Christ.  The talk I gave this past Sunday in Sacrament meeting which talked on that very subject.  The theme basically talked about how in the first part of my mission I felt that is missed something and I couldn't figure out what it was.  As I continued throughout my mission, I did everyone I could to be happy and be the best I could.  What came to my full attention was that my focused was a little erred. The focus that I have been able to attain that has changed my enjoyment of my mission by a large margin, is putting my focus completely on no longer improving myself for personal benefit, but placing it on Christ.  I can honestly say that I have not been so worried and stressed nearly as much, but have been getting so much more done and enjoying life so much more.

Christ really is the Center of Everything. The more that we can come to recognize this, we come to see what our life was truly made to become. To be fill with joy.

Some iPad shot of the sunset :)

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Transfers, Baptisms for the dead, 12 investigators @Ch

So transfers are upon us once again after a quick fly by of what doesn't even feel like 6 weeks. (Hopefully this next 7 transfer week can slow it down a bit :). Right now I am a little surprised because I had only been with Elder Salinas for a whole transfer.  Which is a bit of a bummer because we had a lot of fun and made some good changes in the Estrella ward.  Now I get to host another amazing companion which I get to meet tomorrow.  (President called and told us who the new missionaries in our zone will be, of the which 8 missionaries are getting transferred!  All but one companionship will be getting a new missionary!). My companion will be Elder Studyvan.  He is a missionary that has been out since July.  I'm pretty excited.

Fun moment.  We were able to take Rosario, our recent convert who was baptized back in January, to do baptisms for the dead.  It was super fun and Rosario was able to get over her fears and have an enjoyable experience.  By the end, she was making a lot of jokes and full of laughs. 

So this past week I got sick on Friday and had to stay in Saturday-Monday.  So we weren't able to get much work done.  However,  the Lord didn't lose a pace.  When we passed by an investigators house, Luz, that we visited Thursday, she said she would come to church.  With a little skip in our step and tissues in my nose and pocket, we tucked ourselves onto a bench so I wouldn't get anyone else sick.  As the sacrament meeting began, Mariana and her husband came, along with Rosario and her kids.  So Luz didn't come we were bummed, but we were still able to participate in the conferring to the gift of the Holy Ghost to Mariana. 

As the sacrament meeting progressed, we sung the first hymn and we're going through announcements and moving onto the sacrament.  While we were singing we had a pleasant surprise.  Luz and the 5 kids that were with her came walking in!  I was so pleased to see them there because we've been working with Luz for a period of time and she has been doing everything we have invited her to do, including praying about whether she should be baptized.  So we finished the meeting, we tried to hurry over before they could sneak away and go home. (One thing that happens is that once they are out the doors, they are gone, a very small chance of getting them to walk back in.).  So we were working through the members with our Ward mission leader, and we saw here leave the sacrament room.  We tried to hurry, but I felt that we were a little to slow.

But I was met with another marvelous sight.  The members were all over them and were already taking them to the classes!  We didn't even have time to even say it was nice to see them.  Turns out, some of them had daughters that were friends going to the same school and another member, who is a returning less active, totally took Luz under her arm straight to class as if they were friends.  The gospel principles class went really well, thanks to the second counsellor in the stake presidency teaching.  He taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and gave a powerful message on the blessings and the reasons why those investigating the church should be baptized.  I am pretty sure that after that lesson that all of our investigators, especially Mariana's husband, are much more motivated to enter into the covenant and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  I am honestly impressed and humbled to be fortunate enough to be able to serve in this Ward.  

I've been waiting for over a year to take this picture!  Yeah I can walk on water.... Sorta...

πŸŒ… Elder Nathan Benson πŸŒ…